An exceptionally rare and fine Portrait of 6 Dogs on Enamelled Ceramic by Maison Pichenot-Loebnitz
France, ca. 1880.
25 x 8 (31 x 13 framed) inches
This rectangular panel made of enameled ceramic was made by Jules Loebnitz in the second half of the 19th century depicts a suite of 6 very fine canines in a landscape setting.
The Pichenot-Loebnitz factory was founded by Mr Pichenot, grandfather of Jules Loebnitz, in 1833. From 1841, Mr Pichenot created a new, innovative method of uncrackable earthenware panels for architectural mantels, winning a medal at the Exhibition of 1844.
In 1857, Jules Loebnitz, an artist as much as an industrialist, became director of the factory. For his first major job, Loebnitz passionately collaborated with architect Félix Duban on the restoration of the Blois Castle, recreating the antique tiles of the mantelpieces.
He then went to work with the most prominent architects of his times; Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, Laval, Charles Garnier, Just Lisch and Paul Sédille. A friendship was born in 1867 between Paul Sédille, the architect of the Printemps department stores and the Basilica of Bois-Chenu in Domrémy-la-Pucelle, and Jules Loebnitz that would lead to a tight, long-lasting professional, artistic, and intellectual collaboration.
This was an important meeting between the theorist of polychrome architecture and the man who had pushed French ceramic art considerably forward, allowing for large, enameled earthenware plates decorated with very bright and long-lasting glass-like colors. Many architectural projects were born from the collaboration of Sédille and Loebnitz: World’s fair pavilions, apartment buildings, villas, hotels, and monuments.
During the Great Exhibition of 1878, Paul Sédille created the door of the Palais des Beaux-arts, while Jules Loebnitz was in charge of the ceramic decoration of the facade. A reporter covering the 1878 World’s fair described the monumental door of the Fine Arts Pavilion in the following words: “Nothing is more beautiful than the monumental door to the Fine Arts entrance made by Mr. Loebnitz and designed by Mr. Sédille [ … ] everything about it is grandiose, with an elegant and crafty décor…” Indeed this collaboration by Sédille and Loebnitz was rewarded with a medal.
With more and more commissions, Loebnitz assisted by his son Jules-Alphonse since 1880, produced among other projects the decors of the Champs de Mars and Le Havre train stations, the theater in Monte-Carlo, the tiles of the cupola of the Joan of Arc monument in Rouen and Jules Loebnitz triumphed again in many industrial and decorative exhibitions. When he died in 1895, Sédille built a tomb in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris for his friend.
The company continued excelling with Jules-Alphonse, Jules’s successor. For example in the 1900 Fair, he presented a fountain surrounded by a kiosk - the fruits of his own collaboration with Paul Sédille.
The depression of 1929 and the intense competition of industrial ceramics forced the company to close its doors in 1935.
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